Saturday, October 20, 2007

devLink Technical Conference - Day Two

devLink Technical Conference
Last Saturday was the second day of devLink. It was another great day, in which I mostly heard about TDD (Test Driven Development) and Enterprise/Web 2.0. I met someone from my church who was one of the session speakers. And, I was one number away from winning an XBox 360 (darn, so close).

My morning began with another session by Gregory Beamer called TDD and Refactoring: The Wonder Twins of Development. It was a great session that was very practical - I will definitely need to review my notes and the slides. Unfortunately we still have a lot of classic ASP which doesn’t have the level of tools as .NET, but I think these principles are helpful – even just the Code Smells section.

Bob Sullivan sharing his background
I switched over to the Java track for the next couple sessions, led by Irv Salisbury and Bob Sullivan of directThought. The first was Enterprise Web 2.0. It was a good overview of their experiences developing a web 2.0 app for a large enterprise. There were some useful nuggets, though some of the details weren’t very relevant for my work – the lessons learned slides were helpful. They used Dojo as their JavaScript framework, and I heard some others mention it at this conference as well. After the first session, I met Bob Sullivan, who used to go to the same church as me until he moved recently. After lunch, I went to Bob’s session on Google Tools & APIs. He presented a nice overview of using some of Google’s public tools & APIs on our own sites & projects. Google definitely has some cool stuff.

Michael Neel demonstrating a plastic samurai sword
Next, I went to Michael Neel’s presentation on Zen and the Art of Website Maintenance. He had a cool introduction that included props. He and a volunteer illustrated the differences between a (plastic) broadsword and samurai sword, and explained what makes samurai swords superior. In addition to their curved design to allow it to slice without having to pull back, it is made with a combination of a strong, soft core and hard but brittle outer steel to keep a sharp edge. He compared that to developing a maintainable web app in ASP.NET. This session was very specific to ASP.NET, but was useful, and the sword illustration was the best part.

Finally, Ron Jacobs spoke at the closing keynote. After highlighting his ARCast.tv show (with a hilarious clip on transactions in real life), he presented on The Perfect Pattern Storm, where TDD meets UX and MVP. Is that enough acronyms for ya? It was a great session, both for more thoughts on Test Driven Development and an introduction to the Model, View, Presenter pattern (similar to MVC) to create a great User eXperience. It all looks and sounds cool, but he did caution the audience to evaluate MVP and see if it makes sense before blindly using it.

In summary, devLink was a great conference and a great deal. The conference got me hyped, but it was a long week and I was super tired afterward - thus the delayed blog post. I definitely want to go to more tech conferences in the future. And, I should probably get more involved with a local user group. Thanks to all the volunteers, speakers and sponsors for making this conference possible!

I want to start applying some of the techniques at work, but working mostly in classic ASP makes it a bit challenging, though I’m sure some things are possible. Hmm, migrating to ASP.NET sounds appealing – except for all the manual testing that would have to be done in the process.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mike!

    Thank you for attending my session at DevLINK. I'm glad to see another great turnout for this little conference and hopefully it will continue for many years.

    Based on your write up I'm checking out Ron Jacobs' presentation - MVP seems very interesting, something I'm going to have to play with.

    Mike

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